Senator McGuire, Redwood Credit Union & Press Democrat partner with Middletown Area Merchants Association to host holiday shopping event and celebration of Valley Fire heroes

Join Santa for pasta, treats and a party Dec. 12 to help kick off “Christmas in Middletown” season

Friday, December 4, 2015

Middletown, CA – Immediately after the devastating Lake County fires began, Redwood Credit Union, The Press Democrat and Senator Mike McGuire partnered to encourage donations to RCU’s Lake County Fire Victims Relief Fund. The Fund, focused on helping those who have been impacted by the unprecedented fire disasters, has raised an incredible $2.2 million from over 12,000 donors.

Nearly one million dollars in desperately needed aid has already been distributed to local school kids, firefighters and hundreds of Lake County residents who lost everything due to the devastating Valley Fire. The Fund has also assisted local farmers and ranchers and emergency responders who will be receiving swift water rescue equipment and training to protect Lake County communities in the anticipated El Nino rains. Additionally, $800,000 in financial support is allocated for over 1,050 residents who lost homes. Those funds will be distributed in the coming weeks.

As part of its continued commitment to the recovery and rebuilding efforts in Lake County, the Fund will be sponsoring the annual Middletown Area Merchants Association event, “Christmas in Middletown,” on Saturday, December 12, starting at noon.   

The December 12th event, which is in partnership with Middletown Area Merchants Association, will be focused on helping inject some much needed holiday stimulus into those businesses that continue to struggle due to the fires by underwriting a “Shop Middletown” campaign for the holidays. The campaign will encourage residents from across the region to spend their holiday dollars with South Lake County businesses.

The day will kick off at noon at the South Lake County Fire Station in Middletown with a celebration of community and a free pasta lunch with all of the fixings for South Lake County residents. Santa will be on hand, giving out gift certificates to local merchants for the kids, there will be music and carols by local students and the Fund will be presenting a check of $800,000 that will be donated to residents who lost their homes to the Valley Fire over the next several weeks. In addition, local heroes will be honored at the lunch for their unwavering commitment to the South Lake County community during the Valley Fire and the continued recovery efforts.

And then that evening, all Middletown area businesses will be open late for shopping, dining, and Christmas celebration. Join in the ever-popular “Passport to Fun.” Children and adults alike love visiting the participating businesses to collect stamps in their passports and be eligible to win gift certificates from the local businesses. Residents from across the region will come to Middletown to shop, dine and drink in South Lake County. Santa will arrive at the new Middletown Park in front of the Senior Center and Library building on a fire truck at 5:30 p.m. The Christmas in Middletown event is being underwritten by the Valley Fire Relief Fund and the over 12,000 donors who have contributed to this worthy cause.

“We’re coming together to help our Lake County neighbors who are still in need of assistance, especially in this holiday season,” said Senator McGuire. “While the recovery efforts are advancing, local businesses continue to struggle and spending some of our holiday dollars in Middletown will give them a much needed boost. This all-day event will be focused on celebrating Middletown, shopping locally and recognizing all of those who have been instrumental in the Valley Fire response and recovery efforts.”

“The positive response from across the North Bay has been amazing, but there is still so much assistance needed in the areas impacted by the fires,” said Brett Martinez, President and CEO of Redwood Credit Union. “People still stop me all the time and ask how they can help — this event is the perfect opportunity to support Middletown residents and businesses.”

“We have all been struck by the incredible stories of survival, perseverance and resilience these past few months in Lake County,” said Steve Falk, Sonoma Media Investments CEO. “With the holidays quickly approaching, it is a great time to shop Middletown and support the local business owners and their employees, many who lost their homes and are rebuilding their lives from the ground up.”